‘We are producing too many teachers’

‘We are producing too many teachers’

 

EDUCATION Minister Mahali Phamotse

EDUCATION Minister Mahali Phamotse

Staff Reporter

MASERU

EDUCATION Minister Mahali Phamotse says Lesotho’s tertiary institutions are

churning out too many teachers leaving most of them without jobs.

Phamotse told Parliament last week that her ministry is finding it difficult to find

placements for the recently qualified teachers.

“We will not deny this as the ministry that we have too many teachers and we are

working overtime to see how best to deal with the situation,” Phamotse said.

“We have to come up with a means of how our institutions of higher learning that

produce these teachers should deal with it, that they should not produce teachers of

this great number as they are doing.”

The minister said the problem has been worsened by the fact that there are no

statistics as to which skills are being produced at the teachers’ college making it

difficult for the ministry to channel them where they are needed.

There are only two institutions – the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and the

Lesotho College of Education – that produce teachers in the country.

Phamotse said the ministry needs to “find out how many we are producing (so that)

we will be able to decide where to make a cut”.

She however added that there is still a serious shortage of Science and Mathematics

teachers in the country.

“This shows that they may not be the only ones we are lacking and so if we abruptly

stop producing them we might end up putting the country in jeopardy,” she said.

“We should first identify areas where we have needs.”

Phamotse said to effectively deal with the problem of teacher demand and supply,

the NUL and LCE should know how many teachers and with which skills they should

produce.

“We will know where to place them once we have the statistics,” she said.

The minister said there is also a problem with qualified teachers refusing to take up

jobs in remote areas, preferring to stay in Maseru.

She said to deal with the matter, the ministry will now arbitrarily place a teacher

where there is a need and if such a teacher rejects the deployment, that place would

be given to the next teacher in the queue.

“If a teacher is from Maseru and a vacancy is in Qacha’s Nek, we will just take him

there,” she said.

“This is what we are doing and I don’t think that there will continue to be any schools

in the mountainous regions that will be without skilled teachers.”

The current teacher recruitment procedure is that when a school has a vacancy it

advertises it teachers apply for the job.

Phamotse said there will be an induction programme for all new teachers before they

start teaching.

Parliament has allocated M2.2 billion for the Ministry of Education for the 2016/2017

financial year.

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